The Dogma of Rufus

A CanineGuide to Eating, Sleeping, Digging, Slobbering, Scratching, and Surviving with Humans (2013)
The Dogma of Rufus

Rufus writes a guide for young dogs in which he shares essential ancient wisdom passed down over the ages from dog to dog. He also includes intimate knowledge of the human condition so young dogs can be better prepared to help humans lead a less pathetic existence.  Some things are left out, in case a human might be reading this book.

The book is divided into three sections-The Fundamentals, Troubleshooting and Raising Humans.

Anyone who has ever lived with a dog will not be surprised to find that the number one fundamental and mission statement is “Human Food-Our Central Purpose”.  This section also covers dog food, sleeping, marking, chasing balls, licking, biting, slobbering, welcoming guests and chasing cars (just don't do it).

Troubleshooting includes tricks, barking (how loud and annoying can you go), cats (an evolutionary mistake), professional working dogs, breed stereotypes (don’t be a doggist), philosophy, dog parks (with some fascinating pictures of dogs chasing Frisbees), leashes, sexuality (what is more natural than humping?), and holidays (costumes make for unhappy dogs).

Rufus is especially forthright in the section on humans. Chapter titles include: Dog Whisperers-the dumbest idea since the concept of throwing away “spoiled” food and Dog Substitutes-if you don’t have time for a dog, how about a nice dog statue?  Subjects covered include veterinarians (Natural disaster or Spawn of Satan?) and the poop problem (out of control human weirdness).  Barring all modesty, Rufus extolls his young readers to maximize their cuteness potential while they still have it. 

Sprinkled throughout the book are dog Haiku:

A stranger passes,

Human companion ignores,

Hey, that guy had food.

You will also find random question and answer sections, dog/human dictionaries, quizzes (dog or not a dog-Westie: Probably a dog. Maybe), and lots of color illustrations.

Larry Arnstein was a writer for SNL. He won two Writers Guild of America awards for Not Necessarily the News. He and his sons Zack and Joey assisted Rufus in this endeavor.

All in all, this is a delightful, entertaining and educational book. As Rex from Dog Magazine stated: “Riveting! …Couldn’t put it down!”





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